Password Dos and Don'ts
Online shopping, banking, email and insurance are just some of the online services we use every day. With so many accounts, it’s vital that your passwords are protected. Did you know more than 50% of people use the same password for multiple accounts1? If you lose access to one account, you may also lose access to others. Here are some password tips to help keep your data secure.
- Create unique and separate passwords for all your accounts.
- Create long passwords using phrases instead of single words. For example, “somethingaboutthesunshine” or “piece of cake.” Or consider using a password generator to create secure passwords using a random mixture of letters and numbers.
- Consider using a password manager to store your passwords securely.
- Pay attention to alerts. Change your account password if a company that you do business with has a data breach.2
- Frequently check your accounts with sensitive information especially banking, email and insurance. If someone gets access to any of these, they may be able to access your funds, change your password and lock you out of your account.
- When available, use multi-factor authentication to access your account.
- Don’t use the same password for all your accounts – if someone gets your password, all your accounts are compromised.
- Don’t make your passwords dictionary words like “football,” “spring” or “login”. These passwords tend to be common and easier to guess. 3
- Don’t make your passwords public personal information such as:
- Names: Children, spouse, relatives or friends
- Dates: Anniversaries, birthdays or the current year
- Places: Schools you attended, or your kids attend, your vacation destinations, restaurants you like, or places you frequently attend
- Favorites: Sports or teams, tv shows, movies, video games and/or hobbies
- Don’t make your password keyboard sequences “12345”, “qwerty”, “987654321” or “asdfgh” 4
Creating secure passwords could better protect your money and data. A strong password doesn’t guarantee you’ll never get hacked, but it can help prevent identity theft. Monitor accounts with sensitive information and look out for the warning signs of a data breach.
This information is intended to be educational. It is general in nature and should not be considered financial, legal or tax advice. Consult an attorney or a tax professional regarding your specific situation.
This blog is up to date as of April 2023 and has not been updated for changes in the law, administration or current events.